Separations: A Personal Account of Bowen Family Systems Theory
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY
Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2016, Pages: 327–339, Martina Palombi
This paper is a personal account of my own family of origin research. It explores the impact of separations from parents, nuclear family, and extended family through a Bowen family systems theory perspective using concepts pertaining to Bowen theory such as chronic anxiety, differentiation of self, multigenerational family process, and the emotional system. An outline of the process of doing research in ‘vivo’ with my mother as well as conversations with my supervisor are included. Theoretical differences between individual and system models are discussed. A Bowen theoretical approach to the anxiety of separations is investigated. The efficacy of engaging in family of origin work and the effects of thinking systems is examined in light of how it assisted me to view family members, family system disturbances, and clients’ emotional systems more objectively.